Many of us will suffer with cold feet at some stage in our lives due to lack of heat or cold weather, but sometimes it can be caused by something more sinister like an underlying health condition. In the same way, dogs will experience this from time to time. In this article we will discuss whether there is cause for concern when your dog's paws are cold.
If your dog has cold paws but is otherwise healthy and isn’t displaying any other symptoms, then it’s unlikely that there is anything to worry about. However, if you notice symptoms such as low body temperature (below 101.0), pale gums, breathing difficulty or problems with walking and stability, you should contact a vet to give your dog a check-up.
Walking Your Dog in Cold Weather
Walking in cold weather can cause your dog to have cold paws and of course, they don’t have socks to keep them warm like us humans.
If they have been outside when it’s been snowing or there’s frost on the ground, they may be suffering from frostbite. Their paws may feel quite hard and change to a pale gray color, turning red as they start to thaw out.
If you suspect frostbite in your dog’s paws, you should soak them in warm water and avoid rubbing or massaging them. It’s important not to use hot water as this can cause burns or further damage. Follow this up with a visit to the vets.
Cold Paws and Health Problems
Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is a common disease in dogs that is caused by not enough thyroid hormones being produced. Common symptoms include lethargy, hair loss, weight gain and an intolerance to cold temperatures, which is a possible explanation for cold paws.
Blood Circulation – Cold paws can be an indication that there is a lack of blood flow to the dog’s legs, which may be caused by a blood clot or problems with the heart. There will often be other noticeable symptoms such as limping or dragging of the leg(s) and lameness. This is a serious problem that should be treated by a vet as soon as possible to avoid tissue damage.
How To Care For Your Dog’s Paws During Winter
Some dogs are simply unaccustomed to cold weather – they may be covered in fur, but they still get cold. As a rule of thumb, if it feels too cold for you to go out, then it probably is for your dog too.
De-icing sprays can cause chemical burns to your dog’s paws, so be careful when using any ice melting products in places where your dog walks.
There are number of products available to protect your dog’s paws in the snow and prevent frostbite, such as paw balms or serums. A quick spray of OmegaPet Dog Paw Balm will protect your dog’s paws from most surfaces and it will work well on both cold and hot ground.
If your dog isn’t fashion conscious, they may be willing to try on some dog boots. These will keep your dog’s paws dry and warm and protect them from any chemicals or salt on the ground during Winter. Also, your house won’t be covered in muddy paws after your walk.
They may take your dog a little getting used to, but the benefits certainly outweigh the cons and they will soon get over it once they realize they can frolic around in the snow!
More reading: 7 Tips For Caring For Your Pet This Winter